Saturday, 19 March 2016

Game 72: Habs vs. Sens


- Hey! We showed up! Suffice to say if the Habs put out the same effort tonight that they did on Wednesday against Buffalo, they're going to get destroyed.

- So it took having Barberio knocked out for the season in order to get Darren Dietz back into the lineup - instead of simply putting Dietz in at any point previously while sitting the very marginal Victor Bartley out. But that would be too obvious.

- Dietz gets all kinds of mixed up covering his zone during a Sens transition, Scrivens forced to make a pretty good save off Scott (yes, he's still playing) Gomez.

- While we've been hammering the Habs all season long for their lack of structure, the Sens sure don't look much better, if the first 5 minutes of the game is any indication. Really, really weak in the neutral zone, not exactly doing a stellar job retreating back to their zone. Methinks Ottawa is saddled with some of the same issues as Montreal - lots of good talent, except behind the bench.

- Actually, to extend that a bit further - the Sens share another similarity with the Habs. They're more or less a mess when Erik Karlsson isn't on the ice, just like the Habs are with P.K. Subban out of the lineup.

- Habs had the first 7 shot attempts in the game, Sens have narrowed the gap a little, but it's still a game mostly controlled by the Canadiens. Basically, Ottawa has virtually nothing going at either end of the rink when Karlsson is on the bench.

- Senators penalty kill is pretty awful. Just 75% success rate. And guess what? They score the first goal of the game shorthanded. Turnover at the blue line by Eller, Plekanec, Pacioretty and Galchenyuk dogging it back to cover, Pageau scores. Awful, awful hockey.

- By the way, Habs could really make themselves better by figuring out a way of getting Pageau, since Montreal is the ONLY TEAM HE SCORES AGAINST.

- Sens outhitting Habs by a 2-to-1 margin, which only means they're chasing the puck more. I'd say Ottawa is extremely fortunate to be ahead on the scoreboard, except that the Habs aren't much less of a dysfunctional offence either.

- Meh, Pageau scores, which he always does at least once every game against Montreal. So at least that's out of the way. Still think it remarkable how the Sens were outplayed in the period even though their roster far outflanks the Habs' right now. Canadiens looked the faster team certainly in that period, but failed to generate many good scoring chances. A lot of inexperience in Montreal's lineup failing to finish their plays. It's to be expected.


- Habs and Sens after 20 minutes, Habs with a slight puck possession edge (5v5) CF of 51.9%.

- Habs zone entries have been far more dangerous in the period, Hammond making a couple of nice saves, one post hit. Again, Senators fortunate to still be holding a scoreboard lead.

- Coing out his zone, Andrighetto carrying the puck with his head down, and Phaneuf decides to hammer him. Down goes Andrighetto, Habs then get a nice 2-on-1 break. Classic dumb Phaneuf play.

- Sens had, I repeat, the 2nd worst penalty kill in the NHL entering tonight's game. Another turnover at the line, another break, another shorthanded goal. Just abysmal. 2-0 Ottawa.

- Passing in the Sens zone has been pretty awful tonight, especially around the blue line, where it's been a festival of giveaways. Already it's cost the Habs two goals, and generated more than a few odd man Ottawa rushes. Sure, you're going to have one of these egregious mistakes happen once or twice in a game - but numerous times? Inexcusably bad.

- Lousy period for the Habs, Sens with 22 shot attempts to the Habs merger 12. Sloppy powerplay leading to two Ottawa goals, listless offence. Canadiens going through the motions at this point, and it's really on demonstration tonight. Montreal lucked out with a victory in Buffalo, that's not going to happen again tonight.


- After 2 periods, Habs CF drops from about 52, to 47% because of the 2nd period, in which they were mostly outplayed.

- Emelin with a dumb, dumb charge to start the period. Maybe the Habs can short the Sens right back? Naw.

- Scrivens fails to cover the post, Methot says "hey thanks I'm just going to bank this puck in", and it's 3-0. Ben Scrivens. What a pickup. Happy trails, Ben, when your NHL career ends this summer.

- Annddddddddd ... make it 3 shorthanded goals for the Sens. 4-0. What an embarrassment.

- Habs about as good (bad) as they were against Buffalo Wednesday night, only tonight, the puck luck has not been with them. Plus Ben Scrivens has been bad. Plus the powerplay has been even worse. It's been a horrorshow from top to bottom. Totally deflating and humiliating evening.

- It's official. The three shorthanded goals surrendered tonight? First time in the Habs 107 year history that's happened. WONDERFUL.

- Bowing out for the night. Another abysmal evening in the history of the Montreal Canadiens, which touched yet another embarrassing bottom tonight. Any person with half active cognitive activity would see this team for what it's worth - horribly prepared, horribly managed, horribly dysfunctional from just about every possible angle. It's difficult to watch these games because they're so predictably awful. Easily the worst playing Montreal Canadiens team I've seen in my lifetime, the same team that easily had one of the most talented rosters the organization has seen in 27 years. 

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